Canadians Advocating Political Participation: CAPP renews itself

CAPP has re-invented itself as Canadians Advocating for Political Participation.  In interviews on CBC, CAPP spokespeople said they were continuing to organize now that Parliament was back to ensure that people across the country, whatever their politics,  continue to demand accountability from their politicians and get more engaged in the political process . I am hoping it will be the beginning of a democracy movement that will go much farther and start demanding political engagement by citizens in the political process. 

Israel is an apartheid state and that is why they are losing legitimacy.

Before Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) even began members of the Ontario Legislature and the Canadian Parliament are falling all over each other to denounce it. I can't remember another time when elected legislators formally denounced a student activity like this.  Perhaps during the 1950's when McCarthyism was rampant but that was before my time.

Breaking windows is not a revolutionary act

The first time I ran into people who believed that breaking windows was a revolutionary act was in 1972.  We had just had 21 people arrested for occupying the campus at University of Toronto to set up a tent city for transient youth.  We called it Wachea, a place where everyone was welcome, or so we thought.  A radical new left group called Red Morning tried to convince the assembled masses that going back to the University and "trashing it," in the parlance of the day, was the best way to protest the arrests.  It was the moment I stepped into leadership, debating them for hours, saying that more violence was counter productive and would give more strength to the arguments against us.  Instead we should protest on the grounds of Queen's Park and demand that the government give us land for our transient community.   In those days we didn't have the notion of "diversity of tactics."  We believed in the group who was organizing the demonstration deciding democratically what to do.   Red Morning withdrew their proposal since they couldn't convince us.

World Social Forum on the Move by Boaventura de Sousa Santos

Below is a new article on the WSF by Boaventura de Sousa Santos

At the end January 2010, there was an important evaluation of the ten years of the World Social Forum (WSF) in Porto Alegre (Brazil), including a debate on its future. At the same time, many events took place in seven cities in the metropolitan region, which gathered more than thirty thousand people. The major media did not report on this. They rather inundated their readers with details about the meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) taking place in Davos. This is odd, since the analyses and previsions of the WSF during the last decade turned out to be much more precise than those advanced by the WEF.

A new opening for feminists

Yesterday when I heard that Stephen Harper was suddenly taken with a desire to promote maternal health as the key issue for the G8, I have to admit to being perplexed.  I don't think I've ever heard Harper talk about women's issues. Behind the scenes his government, which of course means him, has not only cut funding to most women's groups and the most progressive NGOs like Alternatives and Kairos but have eliminated the word "equality" from their women's bureau.  Harper is no doubt that most anti-feminist PM we have ever had.

A great day for democracy in Canada

It was magnificent.   After three weeks of online and off line organizing, tens of thousands of people across generations and political persuasions took to the streets in 65 cities and towns across the country and around the world to stop the erosion of democracy in Canada.

Obama and Harper: Two bookends of a broken democracy

On Saturday,  January 23  at 1 pm in more than 60 cities and towns, Canadians will hit the street to demand a real democracy in this country.  What started as a protest against the prorogation of Parliament is starting to look like a democracy movement.

Voters in both the United States and Canada are reacting to a broken system.  In the US by voting down the Democratic candidate for Senate in the most Democratic state of Massachusetts and in Canada by this unprecendented uprising.

Evo Morales to be inaugurated spiritual and political leader of Bolivia this week

With the horror in Haiti, we could all use some good news that we will not hear about from the mainstream media.  On Thursday January 21, Aymara elders and Indigenous people from across Bolivia and the Americas will gather at the inauguration of  Evo Morales as leader of Abya Yala, the Indigenous name meaning Our America.  On the following day, he will be inaugurated as President of Bolivia for the second time.   Up until Evo's regime, Bolivia was the second poorest country in the Americas after Haiti. 

A powerful grassroots movement for democracy is building in Canada

Am I the only one who saw Stephen Harper's nose grow on the National last night?  As he responded to Peter Mansbridge's question about how he had changed, he said that partisanship was now really the terrain of the Opposition.  Perhaps he hadn't consulted with his old pal Tom Flanigan who explained in today's Globe in a piece called Polarization, Ad Hoc Alliances and Fear of Election how completely partisan Harper's strategy is. Harper is in perpetual campaign mode, says Flanigan.  Maybe this time, Harper has outsmarted himself.